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Alfred Schütz (1899-1959) was an Austrian social scientist, whose work bridged sociological and phenomenological traditions to form a social phenomenology.

Contents

Life

He was born in Austria, studied law in Vienna, worked as an international lawyer for Reitler and Company, and moved to the United States in 1939, where he became a member of the faculty of The New School. He worked on phenomenology, social science methodology and the philosophy of Edmund Husserl, William James and others.

Work

Schutz's principle task was to create a philosophical foundation for the social sciences. He was strongly influenced by Ludwig von Mises, Henri Bergson, William James, and Edmund Husserl. Contrary to common belief, George Herbert Mead was of little importance for Schutz. Schutz was very critical of his behavioristic approach and his inadequate treatment of the problem of social action. Although Schütz was never a student of Husserl, he, together with a colleague, Felix Kaufmann, studied Husserl's work intensively in seeking a basis for interpretive sociology derived from the work of Max Weber. This work and its continuation resulted in his first book, Der sinnhafte Aufbau der sozialen Welt (literally, The meaningful construction of the social world, but published in English as The phenomenology of the social world). This work brought him to the attention of Husserl, with whom he corresponded and whom he visited until Husserl's death in 1938. In fact, he was offered the position of assistant to Husserl at Freiburg University in the early 1930s, but declined.

Schütz is probably unique as a scholar of the social sciences in that he pursued a career as a lawyer for an Austrian banking firm for almost his entire life, teaching part-time at the New School for Social Research in New York and producing key papers in phenomenological sociology that fill three volumes (published by Nijhoff, The Hague).

Biographies

  • Wagner, H. R. (1983). Alfred Schutz: An Intellectual Biography. Chicago and London, The University of Chicago Press.
  • Barber, M. (2004). The Participating Citizen: A Biography of Alfred Schutz. New York, State University of New York Press.

Bibliography

1932. Der sinnhafte Aufbau der sozialen Welt: eine Einleitung in die verstehende Soziologie. Wien: J. Springer.
1941. "William James' Concept of the Stream of Consciousness Phenonemologically Interpreted." In Philosophy and Phenomenological Research. 1: 442-451.
1942. "Scheler's Theory of Intersubjectivity & the General Thesis of the Alter Ego." In Philosophy and Phenomenological Research. 2: 323-347.
1945. "On Multiple Realities." In Philosophy and Phenomenological Research. 5: 533-576.
1948. "Sartre's Theory of Alter Ego." In Philosophy and Phenomenological Research. 9: 181-199.
1951. "Choosing Among Projects of Action." In Philosophy and Phenomenological Research. 12: 161-184.
1953. "Edmund Husserl's Ideas, Volume II." In Philosophy and Phenomenological Research. 13: 394-413.
1953. "Die Phänomenologie und die fundamente der Wissenschaften. (Ideas III by Edmund Husserl: A Review.)" In Philosophy and Phenomenological Research. 13: 506-514.
1953. Common-sense and Scientific Interpretation in Human Action." In Philosophy and Phenomenological Research. 14: 1-38.
1954. "Concept and Theory Formation in the Social Sciences." In the Journal of Philosophy. 51: 257-272.
1957. "Max Scheler's Epistemology and Ethics: I." In Review of Metaphysics. 11: 304-314.
1958. "Max Scheler's Epistemology and Ethics: II." In Review of Metaphysics. 11: 486-501.
1959. "Type and Eidos in Husserl's Late Philosophy." In Philosophy and Phenomenological Research. 20: 147-165.
1962-66. Collected Papers I: The Problem of Social Reality. Edited by M.A. Natanson and H.L. van Breda. Dordrecht, The Netherlands: Martinus Nijhoff Publishers.
1962-66. Collected Papers II. Studies in Social Theory. Edited by A. Brodersen. Dordrecht, The Netherlands: Martinus Nijhoff Publishers.
1962-66. Collected Papers III. Studies in Phenomenological Philosophy. Edited by I. Schutz, Aron Gurwitsch. Dordrecht, The Netherlands: Martinus Nijhoff Publishers.
1967. The Phenomenology of the Social World. Evanston, IL: Northwestern University Press.
1970. Reflections on the Problem of Relevance. Edited by Richard Zaner. New Haven, CT: Yale University Press.
1971. Das Problem der Relevanz. Frankfurt am Main: Suhrkamp.
1970. On Phenomenology and Social Relations: Selected Writings. Edited by Helmut R. Wagner. Chicago, IL: University of Chicago Press.
1972. Gesammelte Aufsätze: Band I. Das Problem der Sozialen Wirklichkeit Translated by B. Luckmann and R.H. Grathoff. Dordrecht, The Netherlands: Martinus Nijhoff Publishers.
1972. Gesammelte Aufsätze: Band II. Studien zur Soziologischen Theorie. Edited by A. Brodersen. Translated by A. von Baeyer. Dordrecht, The Netherlands: Martinus Nijhoff Publishers.
1972. Gesammelte Aufsätze: Band III. Studien zur Phaenomenologischen Philosophie Edited by I. Schutz. Translated by A. von Baeyer. Dordrecht, The Netherlands: Martinus Nijhoff Publishers.
1973. The Structures of the Life-World. (Strukturen der Lebenswelt.) By Alfred Schutz and Thomas Luckmann. Translated by Richard M. Zaner and H. Tristram Engelhardt, Jr. Evanston, IL: Northwestern University Press.
1976. "Fragments on the Phenomenology of Music." In Music Man. 2: 5-72.
1977. Zur Theorie sozialen Handelns: e. Briefwechsel Alfred Schütz, Talcott Parsons: Herausgegeben u. eingel. von Walter M. Sprondel. Frankfurt am Main: Suhrkamp.
1978. The Theory of Social Action: The Correspondence of Alfred Schutz and Talcott Parsons. Edited by Richard Grathoff. Bloomington: Indiana University Press.
1982. Life forms and meaning structure. (Lebensformen und Sinnstruktur.) Translated by Helmut R. Wagner. London: Routledge & K. Paul.
1985. Alfred Schütz, Aron Gurwitsch: Briefwechsel, 1939-1959. mit einer Einleitung von Ludwig Landgrebe. Herausgegeben von Richard Grathoff. München: W. Fink.
1989. Philosophers in Exile: the Correspondence of Alfred Schutz and Aron Gurwitsch, 1939-1959. Edited by Richard Grathoff. Translated by J. Claude Evans. Bloomington, IN: Indiana University Press.
1996. Collected Papers IV. Edited by Helmut Wagner, George Psathas, and Fred Kersten. Dordrecht, The Netherlands: Kluwer Academic Publishers.

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